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Your Pet, Our Passion.

German Pinscher

The German Pinscher has a cheerful yet fearless nature, with a bright and alert expression. They are robust and muscular in build, but also very elegant with their short smooth coat and their black and tan shades.

The need-to-know
  • Dogs suitable for experienced owners
  • Extra training required
  • Generally healthy breed
  • Enjoys active walks
  • Enjoys one to two hours of walking a day
  • Medium dog
  • Minimum drool
  • Requires grooming once a week
  • Chatty and vocal dog
  • Barks and alerts to visitors/anything unusual
  • Could have issues with unknown dogs but gets along with known dogs
  • May need additional training to live with other pets
  • May need additional supervision to live with children
  • Needs a small garden
  • Can happily live in the city
  • Can be left occasionally with training
Generally healthy breed

As with many breeds, the German Pinscher can suffer from:
- Cataracts¹ which is a condition where the lens in the eye becomes cloudy and this can result in blindness. 
- Persistent right aortic arch¹ which is where the blood vessels leading out of the heart do not form correctly.

Priority Kennel Club health schemes and testing: 
None but there are several recommended schemes that the Kennel Club recommends which can be found here

¹J. Menzel, 'Population and molecular genetic analyses of persistent right aortic arch and primary cataracts in the German Pinscher', 2010, University of Veterinary Medicine, Hannover.

Key Facts

Lifespan: 12 – 14 years
Weight:  11 - 16kg
Height:  43 - 48cm
Colours:  Black and tan, red, fawn and blue and tan
Size:  Medium
UK Kennel Club Groups: Working


Family-friendly: 5/5
Exercise needs: 4/5
Easy to train: 1/5
Tolerates being alone: 2/5
Likes other pets: 1/5
Energy level: 5/5
Grooming needs: 3/5
Shedding: 4/5
German Pinscher playing in the snow


The German Pinscher is clever, alert, and quick to react. An independent thinker, they need an experienced owner who knows how to keep them entertained and well trained. The German Pincher has a high prey drive and in-built desire to hunt by sight and scent, as well as a natural tendency to guard and alert owners to anything unfamiliar, unusual or suspicious! 

Trainable with the right motivation, the German Pinschers are easily capable of a variety of canine activities and will enjoy working with their owner, using their quick minds to solve problems and learn. 

German Pinscher lying in the room

History and Origins

Country of Origin – Germany 
The German Pinscher as the name suggests, originated in Germany as a working farm and stable dog. Their role there was ratting and general vermin hunting, and as a vocal guard/watchdog. This role required a nimble and fearless dog, willing to dive in and dispatch rats in muckheaps or even around horses’ feet, and warn their owners of intruders, chasing them off if necessary. 
Recorded as far back as the 1800’s, German Pinschers were originally seen in both the smoot-coat and the rough-coat versions. It is thought the rough coated type is the ancestor of today’s Standard Schnauzer. The German Kennel Club recognised the German Pinscher in 1879, but it was not until the late 1970s that the breed was seen in the UK and they were not recognised by the Kennel Club until the late 1980s. 

Did you know?

Did you know?

Although they may look similar, and in some countries share the Pinscher name, the German Pinscher and the Doberman (Pinscher) are not that closely related at all, nor is the German Pinscher a miniaturized version of the Doberman. In fact, the German Pinscher is much more closely related to the Schnauzer, who under that rough coat, is very similar in conformation. Both originated in Germany and share their roots in working, ratting, farm and stable dogs of the 1800’s and probably earlier. The Doberman in comparison was not developed until nearly 100 years later!